Wahid Khan

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For the television director, see Waheed Khan.
Ustad Wahid Khan
Born Etawah, Uttar Pradesh, India
Died Calcutta, India
Nationality India
Occupation Sitar & Surbahar player

Ustad Wahid Khan was an Indian surbahar and sitar player. He was the son of Ustad Imdad Khan and belonged to the Imdadkhani gharana or Etawah Gharana of classical music. His brother Ustad Enayat Khan was also a sitar and a surbahar player. Ustad Wahid Khan and Ustad Enayat Khan were both trained by their father in sitar and surbahar. Ustad Wahid Khan specialised in the surbahar while his brother Ustad Enayat Khan specialised in sitar.[1][2]

Early life[edit]

Ustad Wahid Khan was born in Etawah, Uttar Pradesh to the sitar maestro Ustad Imdad Khan . He was still quite young when Imdad Khan moved to Kolkata from Etawah with his family. In kolkata the family lived in the house of the noted connoisseur Taraprasad Ghosh, where Ustad Imdad Khan rigorously trained his two talented sons Enayat Khan and Wahid Khan.

Wahid Khan, at a very young age, was first initiated into Dhrupad, Khayal and Thumri and then in trained extensively on the Sitar and Surbahar by his father Imdad Khan for many years. Under the guidance and supervision of his father, Wahid Khan put in many years of very rigorous riyaz and mastered both the Sitar and Surbahar.

Performing career[edit]

The later generations regard him as the greatest Surbahar-player of his generation, however he was also one of the greatest sitar-players of his generation. His available disc recordings of Khamaj (Vilambit Gat-Toda) and Piloo (Drut) both on the Sitar offer a glimpse of his virtuosity on the instrument. In Kolkata, Wahid Khan used to accompany his father in many of the latter's concerts on the Sitar and the Surbahar and received huge appreciation and critical acclaim everywhere.[1]

Imdad Khan, later, moved out of Kolkata to settle in Indore as the Court-musician of the Maharaja Holkar of Indore. His sons Enayat Khan and Wahid Khan accompanied him to Indore. There Imdad Khan died, following which Enayat Khan left Indore and returned to Kolkata, while Wahid Khan was appointed the Court-musician of the Indore Darbar, where he lived for 18 years on a very high salary. Wahid Khan also served the Patiala Darbar for 3 years as its Court-musician. He was also the Court-musician of the Nizam of Hyderabad.

Wahid Khan was a regular performer at the All India Radio. He also performed all over India and received numerous awards and medals from the famous institutions of Tikamgarh, Rewa, Baroda, Mysore, Dhaulpur, etc.

Ustad Wahid Khan also appeared in legendary filmmaker Satyajit Ray’s international award winning film Jalsaghar (The Music Room, 1958) where he performs on the surbahar in one of the scenes.

Personal life[edit]

Ustad Wahid Khan is the paternal uncle of noted sitar player Ustad Vilayat Khan and the famous surbahar player Ustad Imrat Khan.[3] His grandson is the famous Ustad Shahid Parvez.


  • Felicitated by the Governor of Bombay
  • First instrumentalist to receive the coveted President's Award (now Sangeet Natak Akademi Award)


  • Released 78rpm recordings ---
  • Khamaj (Vilambit Gat-toda) on the Sitar
  • Pilu (Drut Gat)on the Sitar
  • Bhimpalasi (Alap, Jod-Jhala) on the Surbahar


  1. ^ "Renowned sitar player to perform at Skidmore". Sartogian. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Vilayat Khan, 76, Musician Who Redefined Sitar Playing". New York Times. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 
  3. ^ "No compromises in his art". The Hindu. Retrieved 22 January 2012. 

^ For reference see the book "Hamare Sangeet Ratna" by Laxmi Narayan Garg

^ Sangeet Natak Award Winners